Tag archive for "big sur"

Jucy Wheels out West: the good, the bad and the budget

Destinations, Road Trip, USA, USA

Jucy Wheels out West: the good, the bad and the budget

No Comments 01 March 2013

We’ve been driving higher and higher on Highway 180 en route to the Big Stump Entrance of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, elevation markers letting us know we’ve reached 2000, 3000, 4000 feet. The last few miles have not been easy. The fog is so thick I can’t see more than 15 feet ahead. Then it disappears and reveals one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen.

I’d tackle any hard drive for this view. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Rocky mountains and trees fill the scenery to my left and ahead, two my right, the tips of a few mountains peaking above the clouds. I realise I wasn’t driving through fog before, but those clouds below me right now. If that’s the case, then this must be heaven.

It looks like it anyway.

It’s next to impossible to justifiably sum up my three-week road trip with Jucy Rentals in Western USA. I met so many characters, fell in love with so many destinations and the number of moments that almost brought me to tears driving in this beautiful country, well most of those moments will remain within me.

For me, this wasn’t just a road trip through California, Nevada and Arizona, but a chance to reignite the flame with my homeland. I’ve been away from it for three years now. In that time, I started to forget just how incredible it is. This trip was a serious reminder of that.

So while I can’t possibly share with you all my best moments and stories from the road, I can explain this trip in terms of numbers and figures and a few of my favorite things along the way.

Route and destinations

I kicked off this three-week road trip in Los Angeles, headed straight for the Pacific Coast Highway and never looked back. After a night in Santa Barbara, I continued onwards to Morro Bay then to Big Sur with a quick stop at Hearst Castle. After a three-day love affair in Big Sur, I headed up to San Francisco, to visit Alcatraz and take advantage of all the free things to do in the Bay Area.

Sunset at Morro Bay made me wish I had more time to visit the waterfront town. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

The furthest north I hit on this trip was Napa Valley. From there I headed east to Yosemite National Park, then along the west side of the Sierra Nevada to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, after which I spent a night in the Mojave Desert. I spent one day cruising through the state of Nevada and one night in Lake Mead National Park.

I drove for about an hour on Route 66 on the way to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. A night in the national park there and I made my way back to the Pacific Coast with a few stops in between.

Three nights in Las Vegas, a day in Joshua Tree National Park then I was spreading my toes in the sand at Huntington Beach, CA. I beached it up during my last weekend with my Jucy Champ, visiting Venice Beach, Santa Monica and Malibu.

Distances and travel times

Altogether I covered just under 3000 miles around three states in Western USA: California, Nevada and Arizona. This took about 44 hours driving time in total, but fitting it all in three weeks was really tight. My longest drive in terms of distance was from the Grand Canyon South Rim, AZ to KOA at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, NV, 277 miles over about four and a half hours. The longest drive in terms of time, excluding inside national parks, was from Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA to Fernwood Resort in Big Sur, CA, only 66 miles, but took about five hours, because of the routes winding roads and I kept stopping to take photos.

We made it to the Grand Canyon just before dark. Photo by Richard John Hackey

Budget (fuel, accommodation, food, activities, rental and insurance)

I spent a total of $559.94 on fuel. It cost me $505.71 to camp out 15 nights during the trip. I stayed with a friend for three nights in San Francisco, got a hotel room for one night at $70 in Napa Valley and used American Express points to spend two nights in a hotel in Las Vegas, which would have costs $60 total.

I went to the grocery store three times on this trip, which cost a total of about $150 in total. I spent about $400 between snacks, eating out and alcohol.

Between five National Parks ($90), various tours and tastings ($111) and one show in Las Vegas ($89), the total of activities adds up to $290.

Three weeks with my Jucy rental with unlimited mileage ($1,410), plus 21 nights of partial insurance ($189), since I was already covered for Supplementary Liability Insurance because with my own car in the USA cost a total of $1,599, plus taxes etc. All trip prices vary depending on how long you’ll be renting for, how many miles you’ll be traveling and what kind of insurance you require, so it’s best to get a quote for yourself.

This brings my trip to a grand total of $3,574.65. This is a basic budget you could use if you are interested in doing a similar road trip of the USA, but consider how many people will split the cost of fuel, camp fees, entrance to national parks, etc. Plus you know yourself best, how often will you be eating out or going out for the night. I did very little on both.

Favorite drive

There’s a reason why my drive from Hearst Castle to Big Sur was the longest in terms of time. The drive alone is stunning, sun setting on the Pacific Ocean to my left, rocky mountains to my right and to add to the thrill of it, this drive is along a cliff with a massive drop to the sea. But I also got to see some really cool things at stops along the way, elephant seals, whales, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Henry Miller Memorial Library.

I must have stopped ten or twenty times in Big Sur to look at the sights. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Least favorite drive

After a long day of driving through Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, I went through the worst driving conditions I’ve ever experience on Route 58 in the Mojave Desert. Fog so thick, you could only see about two lines on the middle of the road ahead. This happened at night as well, when all I wanted to do was park up and sleep.

Favorite stop

This is a very hard one, but overall Joshua Tree National Park was best for me. I’ve wanted to see the National Park for a very long time and it was even more interesting than I anticipated. The town of Joshua Tree is small, but quality. The people in this area are really unique and fun. Plus we came across some random things in on our drive through here, like a drummer in the desert and an old western Hollywood set.

Make like a Joshua Tree. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Favorite RV park

During my trip I stayed in 13 different campgrounds and RV resorts. I can honestly say that they were all friendly and special for different reasons, but my favorite is going to have to be Fernwood Resort in Big Sur. The woods there are beautiful and I was parked up right next to the Big Sur River. The bathrooms are heated. Plus the Redwood Grill attached to this resort is cosy and filled with really friendly and interesting locals to talk to.

Colorful lights line the bridge across the Big Sur River at Fernwood Resort. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Best lesson

Buy a national park pass if you plan to road trip Western USA. The $80 “America the Beautiful” pass will allow you to enter and leave all National Parks in the country for an entire year. It be dumb not to visit National Parks in the USA and they each cost $10-25 to enter. We visited five in three weeks, which cost a total of $90, which means we could have saved $10 if we had known about this pass.

Want to read more? All posts about my trip out west can be found here. Enjoy and safe travels!

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

As always, all opinions are my own.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

The road tripper’s guide to cooking like a champ

Destinations, Road Trip, USA, USA

The road tripper’s guide to cooking like a champ

4 Comments 27 February 2013

Being a budget traveler and just enjoying cooking in general, it means a lot when I can cook while traveling. That’s why the best thing, for me, about traveling with my Jucy Champ in California had to be the full kitchen in the back. I loved waking up and making breakfast in the middle of a Cachuma Lake Recreation Area or cooking as the sun sets next to me in Big Sur.

The nice thing about cooking on the road is not only that you eat more affordably, but also that you can pick the best seat in the house.

I mainly ate what was cooked from the back of my Champ on my tour out West. No matter how equipped the kitchen, cooking from the back of a vehicle is a lot different than cooking at home. This guide will name the essentials that should be on your first shopping list, things to keep in mind and my personal road trip recipes.

Cooking essentials

Do you often catch yourself saying, “Oh no, I forgot….”? Road trippers should purchase these three things on their first trip to the grocery store to be used throughout the trip.

  1. Salt and pepper
  2. Dish soap and sponge
  3. Olive oil or butter

Boiling some water from the back of my Jucy Champ for coffee in the morning at Cachuma Lake. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Make sure you have

You think soup would be something inexpensive and easy to make on your road trip, until you get back to the car to find you don’t have a can opener! Luckily, my Jucy rental came fully equipped, so I didn’t have to buy any extra appliances, but it’s always good to be sure. Before planning out your meals, make sure you have these key items.

  1. Can-opener (soups, tuna, sauces)
  2. Sharp knife (meats, vegetables)
  3. Cutting board
  4. Colander (pasta, rice, vegetables)

Tips and reminders

Some things that are obvious to seasoned road trippers are unknown to newbies. Keeps these things in mind when cooking in your RV or camper van.

  1. No illegal dumping. This applies to anything and everything coming out of your vehicle, not just bathrooms. If you are emptying your waste tank ask people on the campground where to dispose of it.
  2. Consider how long things take to cook. The butane gas cartridges used for portable gas stoves pack quite a bit of cooking time, but be realistic with how long your meal idea with take.
  3. Wash up immediately. This is the golden rule in all kitchens, but especially those in cars. It’s not a good idea to drive with things floating around. Wash up and put everything away after eating, so you can go as soon as you want to.
  4. Cool off. Make sure your stove top and any pots or pans have cooled down before putting them away.
  5. Plan ahead. Purchase all your groceries etc. in advance of visiting national parks or secluded areas. These places have few choices and most are more expensive than say in the suburbs or big towns.

Three meal ideas

There are so many things you can cook from the back of your camper van. My advice is to keep it simple, but still have fun. These three videos were all shot from the back of my Jucy camper van and will give you some ideas of things to cook on your road trip.

Breakfast: Eggs California

Lunch: Nachos Grande

Dinner: Creamy fettuccine with three-cheese sausage

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

As always all opinions are my own.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

The first day of the rest of your life in Big Sur, California

Destinations, Guides, Road Trip, USA, USA

The first day of the rest of your life in Big Sur, California

4 Comments 24 January 2013

Big Sur is one of those places that people bond over the mention of. Before I planned my visit to this 90-mile stretch of California, I didn’t think I knew anyone who had ever been. As soon as I spoke about my trip out loud, so many people came out with advice to offer or just wanted to tell me how much they loved it.

Make sure to go to the Henry Miller Library and check out the view at Nepenthe. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a must and make sure to visit McWay Falls while you’re there.

I’ve never had such direct advice from so many people about one place. I didn’t quite understand what people were talking about through the recommendation process, but after spending two days in Big Sur, I know exactly what they meant, how unbelievably gorgeous this place is and how often I’ll think about it for the rest of my life.

Big Sur has been written about over and over. It’s beauty attempted to be explained and the many stories of how locals come to end up staying forever still inciting questions by visitors. The best of all things nature: forest, beach, the sea, as well as the other world: unique shops, restaurants and lodging, you might not be able to see yourself ever living in Big Sur, but a piece of you wants so badly to never leave.

So like the many before me, I’ve tried to explain this mysterious section of California and will pass on the ‘musts’ in this reclusive piece of Highway 1 in what I think is the best order to do them.

This is the view of the Bixby Canyon Bridge from a vista point before it to the north. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

First stop: Bixby Canyon Bridge

Driving south on Highway 1, my first ‘must see’ in this patch of Big Sur is an architectural marvel. The bridge was built in 1932 and made it a lot easier for visitors to enter and leave Big Sur, as well as for locals to travel from the area in the winter months, which was almost impossible before.

It is one of the tallest single span bridges in the world and has been the object of many photographs as well as films and songs. Death Cab for Cutie produced a song about the bridge you might want to download to make the crossing even more special. A white bridge snugged between two cliffs, rocky hills behind it and a tiny beach below, it’s located right on the water. Stop at a vista point before crossing it from the north for the best photo opportunity. Time your visit here for late morning or early afternoon when the sun is high.

 

The walk to McWay Falls is short and easy. It’s basically across the street from the entrance to the park, but there is a tunnel under Highway 1 to walk through when parking across the street. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Second stop: Julia Burns Pfeiffer State Park

The trip from Bixby to this State Park is going to take at least 40 minutes. During the trip feel free to stop at shops along the way and grab something to eat. This is going to be the furthest south we venture. Get to the State Park, by 3 or 4 p.m. if you only want to visit McWay Falls, earlier if you want to see more of the park.

Named after a rancher who lived in Big Sur in the early 20th century, the six-square miles of this park includes forests, beach, several hiking trails, 300-foot tall redwoods and McWay Falls. Another photogenic road stop, McWay Falls drops from an 80-foot cliff directly onto the beach and into the Pacific. This waterfall is very easy to reach. Located right on the side of Highway 1, it’s only about a ten-minute walk from the parking lot at Julia Burns Pfeiffer State Park.

The reason I recommend getting here by 3 or 4 p.m. is because the sun falls really nicely on McWay Falls at this time of day, whereas any earlier it might be blackened by the shade of mountains to the east. Also, our next stop is best at sunset and only a short drive from the Falls.

This is one of many incredible views from Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur, California. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Third stop: Nepenthe Restaurant

Drive about ten minutes north on Highway 1 to reach our next stop: Nepenthe Restaurant. The modern, yet still rugged wooden building located on a cliff looking out to the Pacific has a massive deck that is the perfect place to spend the entire day in Big Sur, but especially sunset.

From this restaurant, people have an unobstructed view of Big Sur’s forest, jagged cliffs and dramatic drops to beaches on the coast and of course, the sun setting on nothing but ocean. I didn’t even attempt to eat here as every guide book I read and person I spoke to said it is very expensive, but the restaurant was very busy, so if you do want a nice meal in Big Sur, this is an option to think about.

If you just want an incredible view, walk along the deck at Nepenthe to the very back and give yourself some time to take in Big Sur in its last moments of light.

It’s easy to spend hours at Henry Miller Memorial Library just looking through the shop. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Fourth stop: Henry Miller Memorial Library

Depending on what day of the week it is, you might need to set off for this next stop immediately after watching the sun set as it usually closes around 6 p.m. Only a few miles north of Highway 1 is the Henry Miller Memorial Library, a non-profit organization that features works of art and literature by the late writer and Big Sur resident, Henry Miller, as well as others. A hippy haven in the woods, the quaint wooden house is no-frills on the outside but an eye full of color and design inside.

The Library is worth a trip on its own, but it often has live music acts on the weekend by local independent artists, as well as well-known performers like Patti Smith. Spend as much time as you can looking through everything this place has to offer. Make sure to give a donation outside in exchange for tea, coffee or just the joy you get from visiting a place like this. The Library has free wi-fi and the most incredible cat called Theo.

Fernwood Resort is one of many ideal places to stay in Big Sur and a definite stop for a few drinks with locals. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Final stop: Redwood Grill and Restaurant at Fernwood Resort

I’m going to finish this list of ‘musts’ in Big Sur with my own personal recommendation. I camped at Fernwood Resort in the most adorable spot right on the Big Sur River, next to a wooden bridge with colored lights. I thought the campground was amazing as soon as I parked my camper van there, natural, quiet, the staff friendly and fun.

Then a local guy who works at Henry Miller Memorial Library recommended a friend and I visit the restaurant attached, Redwood Grill, as he said it was ‘basically [his] living room’. If there’s anything I’ve learned from my travels, it’s that when you get a recommendation like that by someone who lives in the place you’re visiting, you follow it.

Inside, the restaurant has a small bar with lots of wines, beers and spirits. The restaurant includes several rooms set up like a house: one with leather couches, a TV, board games and a few tables. I spent a good few hours there chatting to locals and finding out what brought them to Big Sur. I couldn’t quite fathom where all these people live as I saw maybe two houses on the entire stretch.

What I got from my conversations with people who live in Big Sur, during my last night there, is that it just keeps getting better and better. The five things I mention in this post only scratch the surface. The longer you stay in Big Sur, you’ll notice tiny private streets coming off Highway 1, natural wonders that have yet to be photographed and people who came to this area for a visit, but still haven’t left.

I was perplexed about how people come to live in Big Sur, but I guess the longer you stay, the more it just makes sense.

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

As always all opinions are my own.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

Jucy Wheels Out West: LA to San Fran

Destinations, Road Trip, USA, USA

Jucy Wheels Out West: LA to San Fran

5 Comments 23 January 2013

Driving on the Pacific Coast Highway north through Malibu, rocky mountains to my right, endless ocean to my left, I felt like I had finally arrived.

California.

The subject of many songs, stories and of course, road trips. The first state I’ll conquer on my tour out west and surprisingly one I know very little about.

Born on the east coast, everything I know of California comes from films and two short trips to Los Angeles. But after one week of touring, I know one thing for sure about this state, I’m in love with it.

My first priority after picking up my Jucy Champ was reaching a beach, so I headed to Santa Monica and continued driving along the coast on the Pacific Coast Highway. A quick stop at Neptune’s Net to try the crab cakes and pause to take in the view, then I continued on to Santa Barbara, where I would spend my first night.

Well that’s what I thought at least.

While there are RV Parks located not far from the town center, I found their rates to be a lot higher than State Parks located a few miles away, so I booked something a bit further out.

Heading deeper and deeper into the wild, I arrived at Cachuma Lake Recreation Area, where I spent my first night. It was pitch black outside by the time I got there, so I was surprised to wake up the next morning and see I was surrounded by the Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains. It’s an ideal place to spend a few days in the summer. But in the winter, you’ll find it pretty empty, so don’t worry about booking ahead this time of year.

Can you imagine waking up to this? It’s hard impossible to find a bad spot to camp at Cachuma Lake. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

My only goal for day two was to reach somewhere close to Hearst Castle, which I would tour the following day. I held out as far as possible, skipping State Park after State Park. I finally gave in at Morro Bay and it was a good decision.

Eucalyptus trees line the road to Morro Bay State Park, which is located right on the water. Since they only accept cash or check payments to park up for the night, I had to find a bank. Being in the heavily forested area, you would have no idea how close the town center and loads of shops are. I decided on staying in the town center, spending the night at Cypress Morro Bay RV and MH Park, where I got a space, free wifi and partial hook up for just under $40.

Basically, there are campgrounds here to suit everyone in this area at similar rates, whether you want to be completely surrounded by nature or stay in a town not far from it.

Cypress is walking distance from Morro Rock and Morro Strand State Beach. Along the way to the town’s iconic rock, I passed by a marina filled with sailboats and fishing charters, heaps of independently-owned, fresh seafood restaurants and even a bit of wildlife in the form of three otters playing in the water, not far from shore. I really loved this spot, because it has a nice balance of nature and town life. Plus the sunsets are incredible.

Watch the sun go down in Morro Bay then head to nearby seafood restaurants for dinner. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

The next morning, I was on the road just after 7 a.m. on my way to Hearst Castle in San Simeon. I thought my view of the coast was unbelievable from Highway One here, but it got even better once I reached this castle on a hill. Media mogul William Randolph Hearst commissioned Julia Morgan, California’s first certified female architect, to build his dream estate in 1919.

It literally has the best of two continents, the grandeur of European royalty and the stunning California scenery. Hearst Castle offers an array of different tours, all of which allow visitors to wander around the estate until closing time. The estate is home to an incredible private collection of European art.

The next leg of my journey would actually bring me to tears and make me wonder why it took so long to visit this state.

There are no words to describe the drive on Highway One from Hearst Castle to Big Sur.

It’s so unfair to be the driver on this road. Luckily there are plenty of vista points along the way in Big Sur to stare at the scenery. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Picture a two lane road cut into rocky hills that rise from the sea. Clear skies and a bright sun lighting up a dark blue ocean. It’s a cruel joke that you need to pay so much attention to driving on the swerving road, because all I wanted to do was stare out my side window at the view of the coast.

I must have stopped about ten times at different vista points along the way. One to check out is a beach that’s home to hundreds of elephant seals, another because I spotted whales out to sea and the rest, well, if you saw just how incredible the coast looks here, you would understand.

Big Sur is a forest on the sea and my favorite stop from week one. I met up with my friend Emily here who flew in from New York City. In one day we crossed the Bixby Canyon Bridge, photographed McWay Falls, watched the sun set from Nepenthe Restaurant, drank tea and played with a cat called Theo at Henry Miller Memorial Library and met locals at Fernwood Grill, which might as well be a living room for them. I spent both nights camping at Fernwood in a spot right next to the Big Sur River. The forest there is filled with coastal red woods, not quite as big as the trees up north, but still fascinating.

McWay Falls pours right onto the beach and is only a ten minute walk from the parking lot at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

This section of California is owned by nature, but also a few unique restaurants, bars and lodges seem to come out of nowhere along the road here. It’s hard to believe it’s only 30 minutes from civilization in the form of Monterey.

Pay attention when walking on trails in in the forest here. A poison oak plant brushed my skin at some point here. Nothing serious, but it’s good to be aware.

After a day in Big Sur, we made our way up to San Francisco, stopping at Carmel by the Sea, to stick our feet in the Pacific Ocean, Santa Cruz to check out the boardwalk and Half Moon Bay to see the bluff from a Ritz Carlton located right on the beach here.

We finally reached San Francisco, where we would spend a few days, around 7 p.m.. Give yourself an entire day or even longer to do the trip from Big Sur to the city, it takes a lot longer than you would think.

My Jucy Champ parked up at a lookout point near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

We couldn’t have chosen a better weekend to be in the bay area as it was buzzing about the 49ers being in the NFC Division Championship game, which they won!

We started our visit in the city by taking in its best views, visiting Bakers Beach to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Twin Peaks to see the city from above. While it was worth getting to Twin Peaks for the view, driving up the hills in San Francisco is one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced on the road. Don’t even bother with the break going up. Keep your foot on the gas to stop the car from falling back.

Our trip to Alcatraz gave us another view of the city and one that must have been such a tease to the men imprisoned there decades ago. Tours of Alcatraz are self guided and told through recordings of former prisoners and officers. Focusing only on the voices that guide you and the areas they point out, it’s easy to get lost in the island prison.

Former prisoners on Alcatraz say some nights they could hear laughter coming from the city, a reminder of what they were missing out on. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Book your tickets to Alcatraz far in advance, it sells out days ahead at all times of year.

Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the busiest spots in San Francisco. There is loads to do in this area and great seafood restaurants to eat at. We visited the sea lions at Pier 39 and I was lucky enough to be scared by the Bush Man yet again. This San Fran staple covers himself with shrubbery on the sidewalks around the wharf, scaring inattentive passer-bys, like me.

While the Wharf has a ton of restaurants, we opted for Italian food in North Beach for dinner as one of my friends who lives in the city, says it’s where all the locals go. Think 1950s Italian restaurants, stringed lights hung above the streets and tasty homemade meals.

While in the city we also visited Alamo Square to see the Painted Ladies (a row of houses made famous by Full House), Haight Ashbury (where all the hippies traveled to in the 60s) and Lombard Street, which is known for being San Francisco’s crookedest street.

I said goodbye to Emily in San Francisco and welcomed on tour my wonderful boyfriend Ric. Our last activity in the city was crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on the way to Napa, something I never thought I would do in my life.

This state has so many claims to fame and so many icons known around the world that make it attractive at face value. But like any great love, it’s the state’s secrets and surprises that will make you fall for it. I can’t wait to find out more about it.

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

A special thanks to Hearst Castle and Alcatraz Cruises for welcoming me out to their attractions.

As always all opinions are my own.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

Jucy Wheels Out West

Blog, Destinations, Other, Road Trip, USA, USA

Jucy Wheels Out West

10 Comments 09 January 2013

There’s something about Western USA that just pulls people in. It’s in the shining lights of cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the wide open roads on the Pacific Coast Highway and especially the jaw-dropping landscapes of national parks like Yosemite and Grand Canyon. The West has long attracted travellers looking to stretch out or even make it big.

And in 2013 that’s going to be me.

I’m happy to announce that for my first trip of 2013 I’ll be heading out with with Jucy Rentals in the USA. During the three week tour of California and Nevada, I’ll be stopping at three major cities, at least five national parks and as many beaches as humanly possible.

I was first introduced to Jucy almost three years ago in Australia. Their cute green and purple vans with an even cuter pin-up girl on the side were extremely popular down under, which made me envious that we never had anything like that in the States.

Not anymore.

A look at my Wheels out West, the Jucy Champ campervan. Photo courtesy of Jucy Rentals

The vehicle rental company premiered in the USA this past summer. Why is this so exciting? Because they offer affordable rentals allowing people at all ages and budgets to go on the road trip they’ve always dreamed of, including me.

It may sound weird, but I’ve traveled the world more than my own country. This will be my first serious road trip of the USA since childhood. Sure I went on the regular family road trips and I’ve been on a few weekend trips here and there, but I’ve never been on a large-scale road trip anywhere in the USA and have traveled minimally out West.

So after three years of living abroad, it’s finally time to travel the homeland. The trip will start and finish in Los Angeles, looping out to Las Vegas than on to the Grand Canyon and back.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps

Here are a few of the things I’m most excited about:

Big cities:

  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Las Vegas

Big parks:

  • Big Sur
  • Yosemite
  • Grand Canyon
  • Joshua Tree

Big attractions:

  • Eames House
  • Hearst Castle
  • Alcatraz
  • Napa Valley

It’s going to be a full three weeks. Luckily, I won’t be doing it alone. I’ll be catching up with friends along the way, traveling with Emily, one of my best friends from college, from Big Sur to San Francisco and meeting up with Ric in Napa Valley to finish off the trip together.

I’ve done my research and picked out a lot of places I’m eager to visit, but I want to hear from you! Where would you visit on a road trip of Western USA? What sights are you eager to see and what would you like to know more about?

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. As always all opinions are my own.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)


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